Company culture is a very important aspect to consider when searching for a job. As an employee, when you feel valued as a part of the company, you will feel more fulfilled by your work. Encouraging a healthy organizational culture benefits employers as well, since engaged employees create more success for the company. Here are three green flags and three red flags to look for when you are evaluating potential job opportunities to ensure that you find the best match to your values.
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Green Flag: Mission statement and valuesOne green flag to look for is the company’s mission statement and set of values. Companies with a specific mission statement find greater success because they direct their business endeavors towards achieving their goals. Further, a written set of values helps dictate how the organization’s culture develops. As a potential employee, ensure that the company’s mission statement and values are easily accessible and align with your own values.
Green Flag: Recognition of employee accomplishmentsA culture of employee appreciation is extremely important. Feeling trusted and appreciated for what you do for the company should not be overlooked when searching for a job. Appreciation can include verbal thank-yous from managers to employees, larger company- or department-wide recognition for achievements, and even competitive compensation and benefits compared to other companies.
Green Flag: Mental health protectionMental health is of utmost importance in the workplace, especially with the prevalence of high rates of burnout. A sign of a healthy company culture is a strong understanding of the importance of mental health with concrete efforts to benefit employees. Supportive communication, dedicated mental health resources, and reasonable work hours are all signs of a healthy attitude towards mental health.
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Red Flag: Unhealthy communicationObserving the ways in which current employees interact with each other and with potential new hires can show clues about the organization’s culture. If you observe few interactions between employees, this could be a sign of a lack of cohesion and trust in the company. If you experience unclear or unprofessional communication when interacting with a potential job opportunity, take note of this as well.
Red Flag: Vague job descriptions and avoidance of questionsIf you encounter a job opportunity with vague descriptions of the responsibilities, or find that the interviewer avoids your questions about your potential responsibilities or about the company, this may reflect an unhealthy company culture. The company should not want to avoid sharing details about its business practice with potential employees.
Red Flag: Undefined work/life balanceCompanies that blur the lines between your work and home life have created an unhealthy sense of obligation towards your work at the expense of your home life. Disrespecting your boundaries can show in the form of longer hours than usual and forced availability to work outside of the office, as well as a sense of guilt or failure if you don’t do these things. As an employee, know that your time outside of the office is your own.
In conclusion, company culture is an important factor to consider when evaluating potential job opportunities. A positive, healthy company culture is worth seeking out because it will enhance job satisfaction and encourage personal and professional growth.
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